This post is all about how to get out of a rut but is not medical advise. This is what’s helped me personally when I’m feeling a bit low or unmotivated. If you are depressed or have been in a rut for awhile, please speak to a professional or a loved one.
Every single person in the world ends up in the unwanted situation of feeling stuck or trapped in a negative cycle. Regardless of what you see on social media, we all go through rough patches.
Whether you cannot find motivation for daily activities like learning for an exam, going through works tasks or simpler things like meeting or talking to your friends, the good news is that getting out a rut is possible if you make the conscious decision to change your perspective and adjust your behavior.
Signs Of Being Stuck In A Rut
Getting out of a rut starts with identifying the signs that you are stuck. Some of the most common signs are:
- Monotonous Days – You go to classes or to work, you come back, you study or watch Netflix, and you go to sleep. Then, you do the same thing the following day. Every single day you end up following the same routine and you end up not knowing what day it is.
- Lack Of Motivation – Even if you feel you want to try something new, you cannot find enough motivation to start or you have no idea what the first step should be.
- Feeling Unfulfilled – Although for someone else it seems as if you have everything you want, in reality, everything feels boring to you.
- Fear Of Change – You feel that a change is needed but you are afraid of the discomfort that will cause.
Mandatory disclaimer: Keep in mind that such signs might be indicators of something more serious, like PDD (persistent depressive disorder).
If you try the tips mentioned below and you do not succeed, you should see a doctor and discuss the symptoms you have.
Getting Out Of A Rut
The first step for getting out of a rut is to identify the cause of your negative feelings. Some people are stuck because of exams while others feel that their love life is not as it should be.
No matter the situation, do not criticize yourself. You want to take actionable steps and always tell yourself that you can fix any problem you have.
Focus On Yourself
One of the best things you can do when you are stuck in a rut is to turn your attention towards yourself. Self-compassion will help you more than you might think. Start by thinking about your diet, your sleeping pattern, and your social life.
Are they as you want them to be? If not, take steps to improve.
Incorporate more nutritious foods into your diet, reduce sugar intake, sleep more, exercise regularly – sounds like a cliché but these things can tremendously improve your life by making you feel more energized and motivated.
What you put into your body affects your energy levels, mood, and entire life really. Take care of yourself.
Don’t know where to start? Meal prep these easy and healthy recipes for the week.
Start With Smaller Tasks
Once you identify the problems, you may be tempted to quickly change everything so you can get unstuck as fast as possible. But slow and steady wins the race so, instead of changing everything at once, start by working on smaller tasks. Break down everything you have to do into smaller, actionable goals.
For instance, let’s say you are behind on classwork. Instead of having a general goal like “get up to date with studying”, list smaller tasks like “reply to emails”, “get the books you need for the essay” and “write the introduction for an essay”.
As you finish a task, move towards the next one. This works much better than the alternative because you get to see your progress and you can rally yourself to move forward.
Change Your Routine
Doing the same thing over and over again is exhausting. But something as simple as moving around studying time or waking up at a different hour so you can exercise before work might have a more powerful impact than you think.
Combine these small changes with things you enjoy doing like drinking coffee with your friends, reading books or watching YouTube videos.
This is also the perfect time to pick up a sport or a new hobby. Anything new and exciting can get you out of the rut as long as it brings you joy and makes you change your daily routine for the better.
If you do not work out, it is time to start. When you improve physical health, mental health quickly follows. So many people focus too much on what they have to do and they forget or just neglect fitness and health.
Start cycling, swimming or going to the local gym. If you don’t have time for going to the gym, you can just dance around the house any time you feel like it. Get active and see how your whole demeanor changes.
Take A Break
Sometimes, the big problem is that we keep going without pausing or taking a break and life just passes us by. There is simply no time to take a break or so it seems.
Force yourself to take a break whenever you feel overwhelmed. Get out of the room and just walk around for 5 minutes or grab a snack. When the mind is overwhelmed, it doesn’t work well. You fix this by giving yourself time to rest and reflect or to do something you really enjoy.
Open Up To Someone You Trust
Do you have someone you trust completely? Does that person know you feel stuck? If the answer is no, it is time to open up. Talk to a person you trust like a best friend or a close family member.
Then again, if you don’t like to talk about your struggles, even casual chatting about something you deeply care about helps. We all need such interactions in our lives. A short encounter can end up rejuvenating you and make you feel motivated again.
Forget About Perfection
The desire for perfection is the root problem for many people who find themselves in a rut.
Perfectionism often stops us from getting tasks done as we always find flaws in our work. The goal should always be to give your best, not to be perfect.
You have to squash your perfectionism tendencies and get things done. Practice makes perfection but, if you postpone and procrastinate because you want to achieve perfection from the get-go, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Getting out of a rut is hard because everything around you ends up being overwhelming. One thing leads to another and, eventually, you end up feeling like nothing works.
The tips we discussed above should put you on the right path. Remember to always keep your mind open and be completely honest with yourself.
At the end of the day, we are our worst critics and we can easily get stuck because of this.
Books To Read If You're In A Rut
- Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins
- The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy But Does – Sonja Lyubomirski
- The Universe Has Your Back : Transform Fear Into Faith – Gabrielle Bernstein
- Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brene Brown
- You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and StartLiving An Awesome Life – Jen Sincero
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